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The main purpose of this article is to educate readers on the various definitions of ecotourism and how they attract different types of travellers, whether or not their motivations are to actually be “eco-friendly” or not. These types of tourists can be completely environmentally aware and be travelling for purposes related to the environment in areas that are not necessarily Eco tourist destinations, or tourists can be environmentally unaware and visit Eco tourist destinations. Acott, La Trobe and Howard go on to discuss key concepts in environmentalism and sustainable development. The first is the idea of ecocentrism and technocentrism which both tie in with deep and shallow ecotourism. “Shallows” refers to the idea that humans are completely separate from nature and that they are the only valuable beings. “Deep” refers to the idea that basically all beings in nature are of equal value and importance. Very strong sustainability ties in with ecocentrism while very weak sustainability ties in with technocentrism. Shallow ecotourism refers to nature’s usefulness to humans and is viewed from the very weak sustainability portion. The shallow Eco tourist is essentially not helping with the environment and there is a loss of cultural identity because of the westernization of these Eco tourist destinations. Deep ecotourism incorporates the ideas of the value of nature, materialism is wrong, and that all living and non-living factors are equally important. In order for deep ecotourism to become more prevalent, people must be more aware and therefore more willing to learn and act upon the different environmental and cultural issues associated with shallow ecotourism.
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Environmentalism, Green politics, Types of tourism, Adventure travel, Ecotourism, Ecocentrism, Technocentrism, Rural tourism
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